Little Big Town living the dream on first headlining tour
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Little Big Town living its dream
When the members of country singing quartet Little Big Town say they are living a fantasy on their first headlining tour, at least one of them means it literally.
Five years ago, singer-songwriters Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet were opening a series of concerts for Keith Urban. They were taking turns driving a 15-passenger van all night long from show to show, including a stop at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“I remember so vividly everything about that night,” Schlapman said. “I dreamed that night on stage in Myrtle Beach that we would be able to pack a house like that one day on our own tour. We played that very club a month ago. The house was packed! It was a very special night.”
The group’s first tour as headliners will make three Oklahoma stops this weekend. The foursome talked in an e-mail interview about the tour, their music and traveling as a family.
“Our live show has a lot of energy and a lot of harmony of course. We are constantly changing the set list from night to night, so you never know exactly what you’re gonna hear. I like that because it keeps it fresh for us and for the fans,” Fairchild said.
She and Schlapman started Little Big Town in 1998, recruiting Westbrook and Sweet for a quartet specializing in four-part harmonies and alternating lead singers.
“We faced a lot of pressure to pick a lead singer because this is something that had never been done in country music. …We have found in our experience that people say they want change, but then when they really get change they’re like ‘Oh, we’ve never done it that way before,’” Schlapman told The Oklahoman in an October phone interview.
“So, we stuck to our guns and I’m really proud that we did that because I think that’s what makes our band really unique now.”
Their persistence paid off when the group’s 2005 album, “The Road to Here,” went platinum.
The quartet now is touring in support of its third album, “A Place to Land,” which it re-released last year after switching labels from Equity Music Group to Capitol Nashville.
“It is unusual to be able to take a record with you when you change record labels. We were very fortunate to be able to do that. … We feel like the music that was added only made it better,” Westbrook said.
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